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Basic word processing in TextEdit

From: Mac OS X Lion Essential Training

Video: Basic word processing in TextEdit

TextEdit is Apple's text editing application. While it's not a full-blown word processing application like Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word, it has a surprising amount of power for a free text editor. Let's take a look at it. I will launch it from Spotlight, press Return, and here is our TextEdit window. Now TextEdit looks a bit like a word processing application that you might have seen in from the mid 90s. So there is not a ton of stuff in here but there are some useful things.

Basic word processing in TextEdit

TextEdit is Apple's text editing application. While it's not a full-blown word processing application like Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word, it has a surprising amount of power for a free text editor. Let's take a look at it. I will launch it from Spotlight, press Return, and here is our TextEdit window. Now TextEdit looks a bit like a word processing application that you might have seen in from the mid 90s. So there is not a ton of stuff in here but there are some useful things.

So I will enter some text, then I can select that text and from the Styles menu choose a new style for that. And the default back here. I can choose another font. Let's say Birch Std. That's nearly unbeatable. I can also type in the first few letters of a font and produce that, so there is Times.

You can choose different styles for your font. put that into Italic, Bold, Bold-Italic. And note these styles are different than what I've pulled here. When I use this Styles menu this is the OS imposing a style on the text. In this case these are actual font variations. So when I choose here, this is a font variation that's built into the Times font. I can change the size of the text.

Here is a really big text. I can make it quite small. I can change the color of the text. So here is kind of this orangey text. Green. And back to black. You can also change the background color if you like. So if you want to have a bright yellow document with bright green text you're certainly welcome to. I don't advise it ever but it's something you can do if you choose to.

And then here are some shortcuts for Bold, Italic, and Underline. You can also align your text. So here is left aligned, center, right aligned, and this is justified. What justified text does is it evens up the alignment on both sides of the text wherever possible. You can change your line spacing. So select this. Let's make it 1.4 and now you see that you have got a little more space between your lines.

You can also tighten it up if you want. If you want you can make bullet lists and here's the list. And you can choose different preceding characters if you like. By default TextEdit produces documents in rich text and that means you can use this kind of formatting. If you don't want to you can use plain text. So we go to Format > Make Plain Text, click OK, and you see now you have no formatting options at all, you just get this really generic dull-looking text.

There are some cases when you may want to use that. Certain programming languages. For example if you are coding they want plain text; they don't want any kind of styled text. So if you have that need choose to use plain text instead. Now I am going to see if I can make TextEdit correct me. Notice when I misspell a word it will pop-up a suggestion. In this case, I misspelled color.

It suggests c-o-l-o-r. If I want to accept that I just press Return and it offers the correct spelling. I can undo that if I want to, so I have gone back a space. It says well, did you really mean to say collor? And if so it will accept that. You click that and it allows the original text to stay where it was. Now you can turn off this AutoCorrect option if you want. You just go into the Language & Text system preference and into Text and there you see the option to turn it off.

So we looked at this previously but we will look just one more time. Language & Text > Text and you turn that option off and it will no longer AutoCorrect. Now note that you have to quite TextEdit and then restart before this setting will take. You can also create lists and tables. So we will go to the Format menu. Choose List. We will create a list that has little checkmarks before each item, click OK, and so on.

Delete all that. And you would also make tables. Format > Table. You decide how many rows and columns you want, so we are going to make 4 rows, 5 columns. We can choose the alignment if we choose to. Where the text is going to go, whether on the left side or go in the right side, justified middle, and you can also create a cell border if you like and decide on the color.

You can even embed hyperlinks that work in documents. So we choose Edit > Add Link and then we will have it go to... Click OK and this now is a live link so when I click on it Safari launches, or your default browser, whichever one you use, and it will take you to that linked site. Delete this.

You can also embed images into your documents and to do that we will go to File > Attach Files. Click Open. You can't see it because this image is really big but the image is indeed embedded in the TextEdit file. When I talk about speech I also mentioned the TextEdit can speak documents to you. Just highlight the text, Edit > Speech > Start Speaking.

(Computer: This is some speech for TextEdit. Let's see how it sounds.) So what this has done is it's using the default Alex voice to read the highlighted text. Again, look at the movie about speech and you will see that you can change these voices to another voice that you prefer. Now is as good a time as any to talk about Lion's services. These are features that are activated based on the application you are using and the context of selected items. Using services you can often interact with other applications in your Mac.

So we have some selected text here. I will go to TextEdit. We will look at the Services menu and you see from within TextEdit there are certain things that we can do with this text. I can for example make a new Sticky Note. Here come Stickies. So it's taken that highlighted text and its putted into a Sticky Note and we are going to look at Stickies in another movie. Other options from Services, you can also make a new e-mail with this selection or a new note with this selection. We will also talk about Services when we are talking about Automator but keep Services in mind because you will find some hidden capabilities and some of your favorite programs using Services.

And that's largely everything you need to know about TextEdit, Apple's not so basic text editor.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Lion Essential Training

72 video lessons · 30880 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
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  1. 1m 26s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 4m 42s
    1. Installing Lion
      4m 42s
  3. 44m 44s
    1. Touring the Finder
      10m 19s
    2. Launching and working with apps
      4m 22s
    3. Sorting and starting apps with Launchpad
      3m 13s
    4. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      4m 35s
    5. Using trackpad gestures
      8m 22s
    6. Using mouse gestures
      2m 22s
    7. Understanding file saving in Lion
      4m 35s
    8. Using Text to Speech
      3m 9s
    9. Installing software
      3m 47s
  4. 26m 51s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      7m 31s
    2. Staying current with Software Update
      4m 13s
    3. Configuring Mail, Address Book, and iCal
      5m 2s
    4. Setting up printers
      3m 39s
    5. Backing up with Time Machine
      6m 26s
  5. 10m 49s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      5m 16s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 33s
  6. 39m 6s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 14s
    2. Optimizing Mission Control preferences
      3m 42s
    3. Configuring basic Audio and Video preferences
      4m 34s
    4. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      7m 45s
    5. Configuring Bluetooth input devices
      2m 36s
    6. Modifying Date & Time Preferences
      2m 38s
    7. Getting on the internet
      3m 56s
    8. Using an alternate startup disk
      2m 41s
  7. 3m 22s
    1. Understanding Dashboard widgets
      3m 22s
  8. 23m 20s
    1. Navigating the interface
      6m 30s
    2. Filtering junk mail and sorting messages with rules
      4m 22s
    3. Scheduling appointments with iCal
      6m 38s
    4. Organizing contacts with Address Book
      5m 50s
  9. 37m 5s
    1. Basic word processing in TextEdit
      7m 56s
    2. Using Dictionary
      2m 51s
    3. Preview: Working with images
      6m 20s
    4. Preview: Working with PDFs
      6m 13s
    5. Installing and managing fonts
      5m 37s
    6. Creating quick notes using Stickies
      3m 24s
    7. Using Calculator
      4m 44s
  10. 34m 27s
    1. Navigating the web
      4m 49s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      7m 15s
    3. Adding and reading RSS feeds
      2m 38s
    4. Using Reading List
      3m 7s
    5. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 15s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      3m 13s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      2m 33s
    8. Working with Safari's preferences
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring privacy settings
      5m 4s
  11. 13m 45s
    1. Playing media
      9m 3s
    2. Recording
      4m 42s
  12. 18m 26s
    1. Video chatting in FaceTime
      5m 26s
    2. Text and video messaging in iChat
      9m 6s
    3. Shooting videos and pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 54s
  13. 12m 46s
    1. Automating complex tasks
      12m 46s
  14. 13m 55s
    1. Monitoring system performance
      3m 20s
    2. Setting up a Windows installation in Boot Camp
      3m 49s
    3. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      6m 46s
  15. 15m 55s
    1. Understanding sharing
      4m 59s
    2. Sharing files on a network
      3m 23s
    3. Screen sharing with a remote computer
      4m 7s
    4. Sending files with AirDrop
      3m 26s
  16. 38m 47s
    1. Modifying Language & Text settings
      6m 38s
    2. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 24s
    3. Configuring access for for the disabled
      7m 23s
    4. Using Energy Saver
      4m 42s
    5. Adding and changing users
      6m 19s
    6. Configuring Parental Controls
      7m 21s
  17. 18m 33s
    1. Preventive measures: Creating a Lion boot drive
      7m 40s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      3m 6s
    3. Troubleshooting techniques
      7m 47s
  18. 6m 11s
    1. Techniques for using the Mac efficiently
      5m 22s
    2. Next steps
      49s

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